Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) was an English magician who called himself “the Beast of the Apocalypse.” He claimed to be in touch with astral realms and beings, including his guardian angel, with whom he allegedly conversed with.
Emphasizing the two different spellings, he made a distinction between purportedly real magick and stage magic.
A bisexual, Crowley’s methods often entailed sex, garbed rituals, and blood sacrifice. This scandalized some and attracted others. Believing (or perhaps just saying) he reached the highest level of spiritual attainment, Crowley took a dim view of those who pegged him a black magician. He, in fact, sued Nina Hamnett, an artist, for describing him as black magician in her book, Laughing Torso (1932). However, Crowley lost the case and was plunged into bankruptcy.
Perhaps revealing the subconscious hypocrisy of the era, the judge who ruled against him spoke thus:
Crowley’s books remain somewhat popular today, especially within some circles of the New Age and contemporary Gnostic movements. And the British, in particular, uphold him as an important figure.² However, some see him as embodying all the worst characteristics of the upper class Victorians; that is, a racist sense of superiority mingled with a fascination with people of color.³
Whatever the case may be, it seems doubtful that Crowley reached the highest high of spiritual attainment. One can’t help but compare to Jesus, who patiently endured slander, flogging and murder to prove a point—namely, that there’s more to life than what’s down here.
³ wiki/Aleister_Crowley, op. cit.
- Robert Anton Wilson on Aleister Crowley (dangerousminds.net)
- Scientology Church Has Secret Alien Space Cathedral In New Mexico Desert-Founder Ron Hubbard & Aleister Crowley (countdowntozerotime.org)
- Hey hey, Aleister Crowley is the Winchester brothers’ grandpa on Supernatural! (io9.com)
- Brian Butler Performs Aleister Crowley’s ‘Bartzabel Working’ Ritual (disinfo.com)
- Did Aleister Crowley Communicate With Extraterrestrials? (disinfo.com)
- True Will: An interview with IAO131 (humanisticpaganism.com)
- Sandy Hook: Aleister Crowley, interview freak-show, police audio (jonrappoport.wordpress.com)
- The strangely true connection between Scientology, the Jet Propulsion Lab, and Occult Sorcery (io9.com)
Controlled dreaming (also called conscious or lucid dreaming)¹ is a controversial technique based on shamanic traditions in which one allegedly creates or has a conscious effect on the content of a dream.
This apparently requires a degree of consciousness not readily available to most. Some say they control their dreams simply as a pleasurable or novel activity. Others believe they enter into a Jungian-style collective unconscious in a systematic manner, hoping to influence conditions in the everyday, observable world with which the collective unconscious, they argue, is intimately connected.²
There is some debate as to whether controlled dreaming is just another term for the alleged phenomenon of astral projection. Richard Craze suggest that the two differ, not just conceptually but physiologically.
The evidence, fragmentary as it is, from EEG readings seems to indicate that the two experiences are different. Lucid dreaming is usually accompanied by REM, delta waves and slowed heart beat and respiratory rates identical with normal paradoxical sleep. OOBEs [out of body experiences] are usually accompanied by NREM, an absence of delta waves indicating that the subject is not asleep, an increase in beta waves indicating that the subject is awake, increased pulse and respiratory rates indicating arousal of some sort, and bodily activity. Physiologically the two effects are quite different.³
¹ Lucid dreaming minimally means you are simply aware that you are dreaming. It may or may not involve some degree of control over the dream content.
² Adam DreamHealer claims there’s scientific evidence that “sending healing intentions changes the physiology of someone at a distance.” Although he is not talking about healing others while dreaming, per se, he does postulate the same kind of interconnectedness that would be required for healing at a distance. http://www.dreamhealer.com
³ Richard Craze, Astral Projection, London: Headway – Hodder & Stoughton, 1996, p. 26.
- Meaning of Dreams (legendofanomad.com)
- Did You Know?! 7 Cool Facts About Dreams (jtm71.wordpress.com)
- Take a Trip Outside of Yourself with Astral Projection (jtm71.wordpress.com)
- I Had A Dream… (Omniverse Part 2) (rjnielsen.wordpress.com)
- DVD Ultimate Secrets of Astral Travel (paneandov2012.com)
- Lucid Dreaming and Mental Illness (realitysandwich.com)
- Lucid Dreaming: The Barrier (thesoloist1.wordpress.com)
- Modifying an EEG headset for lucid dreaming (hackaday.com)
- Lucid Dreams (picturesinlivingcolor.wordpress.com)
The word “church” has different meanings. Architecturally it refers to a building used for public religious worship.
Church also refers to an entire body of religious believers and usually the hierarchically ordained clergy who guide and instruct that body of worshippers.
Wikipedia tells us:
The above meanings may or may not apply to Christian belief. In today’s world, “church” also applies to Buddhism and, in fact, to any government-recognized religious body of believers and their creed.
These assemblies are usually tax exempt so stringent criteria must be met before a public assembly is designated as a church. And follow-up procedures are sometimes necessary to guard against the public being scammed by fraudsters setting up a “church” for the sole purpose of tax evasion.
Most Christian and Buddhist churches have undergone serious divisions, each splinter group claiming they’ve uniquely preserved and, perhaps, elaborated on the true source of their faith.
From the perspective of conventional reasoning all of the truth claims arising from the different churches (and their many divisions) cannot be correct. But also from conventional reasoning it doesn’t follow that all of these claims are necessarily incorrect.
It’s conceivable (if improbable) that one church teaches absolute, perfect truth while others contain no or, perhaps, partial truths. It’s also conceivable that one church is truest (but not absolutely true) while others remain somewhat less true.
Other perspectives suggest that all churches and the truths they proclaim are equally valid and true. This is the “anything goes” perspective we sometimes find among New Age enthusiasts. Interestingly, this perspective is allegedly supported by interior visions and other extraordinary experiences. Most mainstream currents of belief also tend to claim some kind of supernatural authority. However, these various ‘authorities’ usually say something entirely unique. It’s a fallacy to say that all religions teach the same thing. They do not—not when each religion is taken on its own terms, at any rate.
Alternately, some maintain that all churches and the truths they proclaim are bogus.
- Dighton churches to open their doors for holiday tour (tauntongazette.com)
- Will we have church tomorrow? (riverrockchurch.com)
- The Religious Spirit and the Out-of-Church Movement (leavethechurch.me)
- Christianity (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Erie County churches look beyond collection baskets (goerie.com)
- You: Christians exploring new ways to spread the word (japantimes.co.jp)
- Why Should I Join A Local Church? (larryfarlow.com)
- Where nature worshippers gather (heraldnet.com)
- When a Church Partners with a Public School to Raise Money for a Christian Charity, an Atheist Steps In (patheos.com)
- YOU are the Church! (worthabowedhead.wordpress.com)
Channeling is a new, perhaps more marketable, name for the old esoteric idea of mediumship.
A channeler allegedly permits a purely spiritual being to speak or write through his or her living, embodied person. Channeled beings may be people who’ve passed or entities in heaven, astral realms and other universes and dimensions.
Information derived from channeling is often quite general, repetitive and, some critics say, sugar-coated. Much of it can be summed up as follows:
Earthly life is a cosmic schoolroom in which we must learn to better love one another. Humanity is evolving into a new type of higher species or awareness. Already existing higher beings are helping us to achieve that higher level of being or awareness.
The alleged cosmic helpers may have Biblical or ancient Egyptian-sounding names (e.g. Seth, Lazarus, Ramtha). The channelers themselves usually present lectures and workshops (usually for a donation or fee) and author books, CDs and DVDs in which transcripts of the channeled entity’s words are made available to the public.
In some instances the channeler seems to become self-aggrandized, believing they’re called for a great, Divine Mission. Sober questioning, however, usually places a question mark around such claims.
From the perspective of parapsychology, one possibility, which might not go over too well in some New Age circles, is that lying and manipulative transcendent beings could see into a channeler’s psyche and play on his or her psychological complexes, weaknesses and desires—all to stroke up the channeler’s ego so they believe they’re divine emissaries.
It’s also possible that some channelers are channeling nothing more than their own fertile imaginations. This is not to say that channeling is necessarily a deliberate or unconscious sham. To place a question mark around the issue simply means we can’t be sure, one way or the other.
Whatever its veracity, the idea of channeling has become so widespread that we often see it used lightly on the TV news and in the entertainment industry. Wikipedia gives a great outline as to how pervasive this idea has become: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Channelling
To this joyfulseeker adds:
I would say that rather than being a replacement for the term mediumship, channeling is acutally a broader term under which mediumship and other forms of spirit communication fall. For instance— automatic writing, Ouija, pendulum, clairaudience, clairsentience, etc.
I also agree that there are manipulative and deceptive beings that use these means of communication to connect with and manipulate people. Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean that you all of a sudden become kind and ethical. Channeling, like any form of communication requires care in both how you communicate and with whom. Its not unlike the internet. There are a lot of wonderful people on the net with much to offer you simply have to use discernment in revealing too much of yourself and how much you trust the other person. » See in context
Robert G. Black says:
Quite a lot of good comments about channeling. It’s a big Universe out there, and there’s hardly any doubt that our physical eyes can’t see it all. We can’t even see half of the things today that we take so for granted. » See in context
And Michelle writes:
I believe when we step into the spiritual realm through prayer or meditation, we can be influenced by good or evil. I think that is why we need to be careful who we are trying to contact – and possibly why the Old Testament gives clear warning to stay away from speaking to the dead. » See in context
- ” Golden thread” – channelled message from The Circle of The Light of The Love Energy (earthmessagepress.com)
- Trevor Taylor liked Pauline Battell’s discussion Ivy Northage and Chan ~ plus ~ General Psychic Information (community.humanityhealing.net)
- Who was Edgar Cayce? – A book review of The Sleeping Prophet by Jess Stearn (apolloandartemis.wordpress.com)
- Melchizedek ~~ This is why you all incarnated here and your time is at hand! ~~ channeled by Méline Lafont | Pleiadedolphininfos (2012indyinfo.com)
- “Currency of Love” – channelled message from The Circle of The Light of The Love Energy (earthmessagepress.com)
- How to Channel the Opulence of Zoe Saldana’s Balmain Dress (fabsugar.com)
- Nancy Fox is an excellent channel and psychic medium who effortlessly communicates to those on the other side. (kevinhunter.wordpress.com)
- Ex-student is barred from releasing Ramtha video, other materials (thenewstribune.com)
- Hilarion: We are all Working Together as the Dimensions Come Closer – As channeled by Marlene Swetlishoff/Tsu-tana (007blueray.wordpress.com)
While many New Age believers cite the belief in chakras as a surefire science of body and spirit, they usually don’t realize that chakra theories vary significantly among different Asian religious traditions.
Texts and teachings present different numbers of chakras. Also different physical structures are considered chakras. David Gordon White thus emphasizes:
The chakras are, in the most general sense, ‘wheels’ or alleged centers of power located along the spine, beginning at the anus/base and ending at the crown of the head.
Spiritual energy is said to travel in a channel (nadi) upward along the spine, homogenizing at each chakra much like floors along an elevator route. Individuals at various stages of spiritual development focus on and identify their consciousness with respectively different chakras (energy centers). The anus/base chakra is said to contain the lowest and crudest of spiritual energies, while the crown/top chakra is associated with ultimate spiritual awareness, beyond the confines of desire, the body, space and time, etc.
In this regard, Hinduism outlines a variety of spiritual tantras (rules, disciplines, theories). Although those outlined in the Kubjikamata Tantra became more or less standardized, with chakras specified at the anus, reproductive organs, navel, heart, throat, between the eyes and the ‘thousand-petalled lotus’ at the crown of the head.
In Hindu mythic belief raw power (Shakti) resides at the anus/base. Once awakened she rises, serpent-like, energizing each chakra as she passes upward, ultimately to unite with Siva at the crown chakra. At this point the aspirant allegedly experiences absolute bliss by virtue of linking personal consciousness with absolute reality or God.
By way of contrast, some Buddhist Tantras mention only four chakras, located at the navel, heart, throat and between the eyes/crown of the head.
Again, some people seem to accept one chakra theory as the gospel truth. In reality, however, there are many competing theories. The tendency for some to hold fast to a single chakra theory might have something to do with the human desire to understand and control. Rather than humbly acknowledging our human limitations concerning ultimate reality, some suppose they’ve got it all figured out with a manmade theory. Ironically, this narrow-minded, closed off attitude may hinder an experience of the mystery and grace of God.
Another sad possibility is that vulnerable people with a bit of money but not much knowledge are hoodwinked by manipulative, sham gurus and cheesy New Age teachers who’ll do anything they can to keep their wealthy clients on the hook.
- My First Set Of Chakra Stones (kristencoffin.wordpress.com)
- Learning About Chakras (thedailysisterhood.wordpress.com)
- Chakra Affirmations (reflectionsonlifethusfar.wordpress.com)
- Guest Post: An Introduction to Energy Healing and the Chakras (brendamarroyauthor.com)
- Chakra Meditation Exercise (greaterlifenow.wordpress.com)
- The Relaxed Soul: The Power of Chi Given Unconditionally (omtimes.com)
- My Second Set Of Chakra Stones (kristencoffin.wordpress.com)
Brian Eno (Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle, 1948 – ) is a musician, composer, producer who’s generally regarded as the grandaddy of ambient music.
Born in Woodbridge, Suffolk, Eno started off as an art student but quickly got involved in the London music scene as a producer.
On his own records he’s best known for exploring ambient music. In the 1970s, before the New Age transformed ambient music into a highly marketable commodity, Eno released so-called environmental music with works such as Music for Films and Music for Airports. A series of ambient and experimental works followed, some solo and some in collaboration with others interested in the genre.
In the 1980s he recorded the haunting and ethereal Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks, a soundtrack for the space documentary, For All Mankind. Eno also recorded solo rock and roll LP’s such as Here Come the Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain and King’s Lead Hat. Less commercially successful than his ambient work, these are nonetheless admired by his more serious fans.
Related Posts » Rock and Roll
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The (canonical) Gospels are the first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) containing the events of Jesus Christ’s life and his teaching. Essentially, they offer the message of salvation from personal sin through God’s forgiveness.
Non-believers often point out apparent contradictions among the different accounts while believers usually see them as presenting a holistic harmony, not unlike four-channel audio that amplifies a single message.
Wikipedia nicely outlines the etymology of the word Gospel:
The word gospel derives from the Old English gōd-spell  (rarely godspel), meaning “good news” or “glad tidings”. It is a calque (word-for-word translation) of the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον, euangelion (eu- “good”, -angelion “message”). The Greek word euangelion is also the source (via Latinised evangelium) of the terms “evangelist” and “evangelism” in English. The authors of the four canonical Christian gospels are known as the four evangelists.¹
There are other so-called gospels that are not recognized by most Christian Churches as canonical.² They may, however, be acknowledged as offering some insights or points of interest concerning the total situation in the ancient world around the time of Jesus. On the down side, Church officials usually teach that non-canonical gospels might complicate things or distract otherwise genuine seekers, making it harder for them to find the true light of God.
Again, this is what most Christian Church officials will say. Contemporary Gnostics and New Age enthusiasts, however, would probably fire back that dried up and hypocritical Church structures and teachings would get in the way of their finding God, just as much if not more than a few allegedly misguided passages in a non-canonical gospel.
² For a list of these see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#Non-canonical_gospels
- Gospel of Luke (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Gospel of Mark (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Gospel of John (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Gospel of Matthew (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Gospel Life (garrettventry.wordpress.com)
- The earliest gospels – Marcion’s gospel (according to P.L. Couchoud) (vridar.wordpress.com)
Shakti Gawain is a contemporary American spiritualist and author who lives in California. Her books have sold over 10 million copies.¹ The most popular of her publications are Creative Visualization and Living in the Light, although she has penned several others. ²
Gawain writes about how she spent time working as a cleaning lady before she became a popular spiritual teacher. She believes that positive attitude and expectation create a positive reality. She also advocates an eclectic approach to living in relation to the Divine, an approach which includes prayer, chant, meditation, and the “creative visualization” of desired outcomes.
Just how effective creative visualization really is remains a matter of debate. Many visualizers’ visualizations seem to fall flat—that is, they just don’t happen. Some common explanations for the failure of a visualization to come about are “the time wasn’t right” or “I didn’t focus well enough” and so on.³
But for Gawain, it seems that her visualizations for prosperity did come about.
Sympathetic to Carl Jung’s idea of synchronicity, Gawain rejects the Eastern belief in reincarnation on the grounds that it’s a limiting man-made theory. Along the lines of the (some would say pioneering) channeler Jane Roberts, Gawain stresses the importance of living in the present while recognizing past influences.
Most recently, her website stresses the importance of balancing work and play, along with responsibilities to self and others.
I am finding a balance in my life of work and play, of my responsibilities to others and to myself.4
³ Another explanation could be that the personal desire wasn’t in line with God’s will. But we don’t hear that one too much from creative visualizers because they usually (and almost dogmatically) claim that we create our own reality.
- Simple Daily Ways to Keep Yourself Open and Curious (reinventplay.com)
The Gaia hypothesis was proposed by the British scientist, author and environmentalist James Lovelock (1919-). It suggests that the Earth, itself, is a self-regulating entity geared toward sustaining life.
In his own words, Gaia is
a complex entity involving the Earth’s biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and soil; the totality constituting a feedback or cybernetic system which seeks an optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this planet.¹
This view is alternately accepted and rejected by various scientists. And it’s often mistaken for Lewis Thomas‘ speculation that the Earth, if viewed from space, looks like a single cell.
The Gaia hypothesis is also used out of context by some New Age enthusiasts who uphold it as support for the pantheistic idea that God and the natural, observable world are identical.
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- The best-selling green books of the decade (guardian.co.uk)
- Blog – Artificial Life Shares Biosignature With Terrestrial Cousins (technologyreview.com)
- Giving Misanthropy a Bad Name: (brothersjuddblog.com)
- Vivienne Westwoods London (theglobeandmail.com)
- Craig K. Comstock: Will Our Species Survive Another Century? (huffingtonpost.com)
- NASA Symposium Marks 50-Year-Search for Signs of Life in Universe (prnewswire.com)
- Not just tilting at windmills (thebrightlibertarian.blogspot.com)
- Earth at the Tipping Point: Global Warming Heats Up (time.com)
- Vivian Westwood doc is a trip and a half (thestar.com)
- Gaia (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Gaia is a tough bitch… (panokroko.wordpress.com)
- Guest Post: Kenneth G. Bennett – author of the Gaia Wars (diaryofacambridgestudent.wordpress.com)
- Project Gaia (sweet-symbiosis.com)
- Apocalypse 2012: The World After Time Ends (DVD Review) (epages.wordpress.com)
- The Gaia Wars Blog Tour: Author Interview! (thebookgeeksreviews.wordpress.com)
- Lynn Margulis 1938-2011 “Gaia Is A Tough Bitch” | Conversation | Edge (plexity.wordpress.com)
Hermes Trismegistos (“Hermes the Thrice Great” or “Thrice Blessed”) is the supposed author of the Hermetica, an apparently divinely inspired ancient text concerned with cosmology and the dynamics of the spiritual life.
Scholars assume that the name Hermes Trismegistos comes from a combination of the Greek deity Hermes and the Egyptian deity Thoth.
The content of the Hermetica could be quite fantastical, approaching something we’d see on TV or film sci-fi and fantasy epics.
The Hermetica, is a category of papyri containing spells and initiatory induction procedures. In the dialogue called the Asclepius (after the Greek god of healing) the art of imprisoning the souls of demons or of angels in statues with the help of herbs, gems and odors, is described, such that the statue could speak and engage in prophecy. In other papyri, there are recipes for constructing such images and animating them, such as when images are to be fashioned hollow so as to enclose a magic name inscribed on gold leaf.¹
Towards the end of the Classical period the name also referred to the alleged author of several esoteric treatises on alchemy. These were jealously guarded over the centuries, coming to light in the 1600′s as the study of alchemy became fashionable in some European circles.
In one treatise attributed to Trismegistos, the author speaks of God’s inherent bisexuality and of an evil future time when
No one will gaze into heaven. And the pious man will be counted as insane, and the impious man will be honored as wise.²
However, Hermes Trismegistos remains a complicated and somewhat mysterious figure. A 10th century Byzantine encyclopedia called the Souda refers to him as an exemplar of the Christian trinity. And New Age groups have their own esoteric take on this enigmatic character.
² Willis Barnstone, ed. The Other Bible, p. 578.
- Hermes (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Street Art – Hermes (daydreamtourist.com)
- History of Alchemy (bchq33.wordpress.com)
- Thoth, Hermes & the Word (hiddenlighthouse.wordpress.com)
- Hermes (freshfolk.wordpress.com)
- Mormonism as Hermetic Christianity (part 2) (church-discipline.blogspot.com)